I was thinking about this the other day. If our current accepted reasoning for why fruits and vegetables are important in our diet is for their antioxidant content (their ability to counter oxidant stress and free radical damage that can lead to diseases), then the problem with saying they are amiss when excluded in a ketogenic diet, a high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrates (very few fruits and vegetables) diet, is that when the body goes into ketosis this oxidant balance is in part balanced by the diet amplifying our own level of internal antioxidants. Did you know we could produce our own antioxidants? We have several pathways and enzymes such as glutathione which when under duress (ketosis is a form of nutrient starvation) it produces more defensive mechanisms, hence greater antioxidant production. So in ketosis, for some, these internal mechanisms are kicked in and dampens the reactive oxygen species that lead to disease. So it is conceivable for those that are on this type of diet may not need these outside sources of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables while on a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate diet, since it abates oxidants in their own way.
Peter Attia of NuSi doesn’t feel he needs vegetables either, his ketogenic lifestyle diet consists of high fat, protein and just a few fruits and vegetables (see: “What i actually eat” by Peter). Continue reading